Ethiopia Athletics ‘god father’ Yifter dies

Miruts Yifter

Ethiopia double 1980 Olympic goal medalist Miruts Yifter died in Canada at 72 years of age on Friday.

Miruts is well known by the nick name ‘Yifter The Shifter’ for his abrupt change in speed when executing his kick to the finish.

He won 2 gold medals (10,000M and 5000M) at the 1980’s Moscow Olympic at the age of 38.

He first participated in 1972 Munich Olympic and won the bronze in 10,000M.

There was drama after he arrived too late for the 5000M  final and was disqualified before  he was jailed on return back home under the guise of treason.

He won the double in all IAAF World Cup in Dussendorf, 1977 and Montreal, 1979.

He also won the double at 1st African championship in 1975, Dakar, Senegal.

Yifter inspired world class athletes like Haile Gebreselassie.

His heroics inspired a generation of runners to follow his footsteps. He contributes the lion share to establish the Ethiopian long distance running dynasty.

A heroic welcome is expected in Ethiopia, when his body arrives for burial in Addis-Ababa by the next week.